Post Cologne FC match ThoughtsBy: Darren_v | August 13th, 2012
Hey guess who? I was sitting on the ground from a workout and thinking of the Arsenal and whatâ€™s in store for the season and realized that I really wanted to have a forum to place lay out all my thoughts. This is when I realized I had promised Lachlan that I was going to search for my password to writing blogs here for him and the gang that have dutifully picked up where I and the others left off. (Sorry about that. Really!)
I didnâ€™t actually ask the guys if I could write anything, (sorry) but I noticed that no one had yet commented on the Cologne match and so I hope you guys donâ€™t mind me running some thoughts and notes down on the game. I figured I would go player-to-player and give you guys some thoughts on the player and how they played and what I believe their futures may hold for the season.
1st half players
Mannone â€“ Didnâ€™t learn anything we didnâ€™t know before. A decent keeper with the odd gaffe and not likely destined for the top leagues as a starter. He is likely to be loaned out when Fabianski returns from injury.
Yennaris â€“ Played out of position at right-back and didnâ€™t have a great game. Positioning was off and got caught out more than Iâ€™d like to see. Good to keep in mind he is a natural defensive midfielder and with Sagna out, he is the third choice player there. A Carling Cup player unless Jenkinson struggles, in which case Yennaris will be thrown in there. . Unless you want to see Djourou there again. Please no.
Mertesacker â€“ Loved seeing the BFG back on the pitch, reading the game superbly and snuffing out everything around him while quietly covering Yennarisâ€™ mistakes. Reads the game better than the other CBs and will be a useful 2nd/3rd choice center-back. Will play a lot, depending on the opposition.
Vermaelen â€“ Started as captain and did well enough. Scored a goal from a Mertesacker flick on off a corner which is being dubbed a â€śBould specialâ€ť but in reality, something Arsenal tried last year many times. But those are meaningless fact. J Likely the Arsenal captian and will play unless injured or suspended.
Gibbs â€“ Assisted on a goal and did ok defensively. Will be interesting to see when and how he will be used this season. Hard to decide whom the first choice LB is. Stay fit Kieran!
Coquelin â€“ Not a great game, with some poor passes and didnâ€™t cover the defenders well. I love this player, and the reason I was only somewhat excited about the Mâ€™Villa rumors. Versatile and tenacious, and hopefully gets game time this year as the DM. Big future
Chamberlain â€“ The Ox played the deep midfield role we saw Arteta in and generally did well. Good vision and looks to use his skill and pace when he can, but obviously slightly suspect defensively. Hasnâ€™t played wide at all this preseason. Picked up an injury, hopefully he can start Saturday.
Cazorla â€“ The player we needed last year. Everyone is going to love him as he will clearly be the creative hub we lost when Cesc left and was never replaced. Vital player this year, but with Spain going to Costa Rica this week, questions abound if he will start v Sunderland.
Walcott â€“ Good game by Theo, as you would expect with a creative player looking to feed his runs. He makes good runs behind defenders, and always will. His game will always depend on the service given him by players around him. Hopefully he gives Cazorla a nice cut of his next pay raiseâ€¦ wherever he gets it from.
Podolski â€“ Didnâ€™t stay wide at all, cutting in like Arshavin always didâ€¦. But worked hard off the ball unlike Arshavin. Heâ€™s going to create lots of space for Santos to run riot on that left flank. 2nd half, went central and did better than I figured he would.
Giroud â€“ First full game Iâ€™ve seen him play, and heâ€™s a player. Big #10, with very good movement and hold up play and wins balls in the air. Iâ€™m very excited about him
2nd half players:
Szczensy â€“ Couldâ€™ve slept the 2nd half. The clear #1 at Arsenal, and hopefully he will stop being suspect on long shots, his only big weakness.
Jenkinson â€“ Solid half, little to do defensively. Iâ€™d start him on Saturday and see how he does, with Yennaris waiting in the wings.
Djourou â€“ Did he do anything? As a 4th choice CB, heâ€™s good enough. I like him and believe he gets too much heat from fans. Remember, he didnâ€™t pick himself to play right-back.
Koscielny- Didnâ€™t do much and is apparently injured and not playing for France. Doubtful to start for Arsenal this weekend, but hopefully will pick up where he left off last season.
Santos â€“ Quiet game from the cuddly maverick. If the Ox, Arteta and Cazorla donâ€™t start, Iâ€™d start Santos at LB and tell him to run riot on the left flank with Coquelin and Song covering.
Song â€“ Was poor with his passing, but noticeably sat back all game, which is a pleasant surprise. The defense needs more protecting and heâ€™s the man to do it. Arsenal have never won in the last 2 year without Song on the field (Please correct me if I got this stat wrong!)
Diaby â€“ Played 45 minutes and isnâ€™t on the injury table. Thatâ€™s a success in itself. No one knows what he will bring this year. Diaby is the most unreliable player in pro-sports.
Arshavin â€“ Played the central role behind the striker like I and Perry and others cried for last year. Did well, spraying passes around, but to be honest, Cologne didnâ€™t try much in the 2nd half. Hard to say if he will be around all season, but has a chance to play in the creative role on Saturday. Iâ€™ve always been a fan, and hopefully we can see the flash he used to give.
Gnarby â€“ A 17 year old kid coming up the ranks and impressing everyone it seems. He only played 20ish minutes, and highly unlikely to get any EPL time this year. One for the future though, remember his name.
Gervinho â€“ Attacked the whole half and played well, and shouldâ€™ve had 2 goals. Didnâ€™t see anything we donâ€™t know, but will have competition for his place. He will play and if he does well, will hold his place in the line up. Itâ€™s going to be a fight though.
Van Persie- Came on for the final 20 minutes and didnâ€™t do much. The most notable event was his wearing the armband that could mean anything at all. I could write a whole blog on RvP, but for now will only say this. If Arsenal sell him anywhere in England I will be pissed. Let him walk next summer for free if need be, but the biggest statement Arsenal can make at this point is to make him play for his spot at Arsenal and donâ€™t give in to his wishes.
Chamakh â€“ He came on the pitch and played out right for 20 minutes. Canâ€™t tell you more than that. Look, the only way he gets a chance to feature this year is if RvP leaves and/or Arsenal are decimated with injuries upfront. The guy is gone unless itâ€™s impossible to sell. And if you cannot sell the Greatest Striker That Ever Lived, how can you sell that faux hawk?
Honestly, if the Arsenal squad is the same September 1, I am a very happy and excited Gooner. I canâ€™t actually remember the last time I was excited to start a season. (Not true, 2008â€¦ Come back Cesc, Flamini, Rosicky and Hleb!!). This is the first time in a long while that Arsenal legitimately have serious competition for nearly all positions, save perhaps at defensive midfield. You could pick a myriad of different possible starting lineup at Arsenal, and it would be a strong starting 11. This simply doesnâ€™t happen with the modern-day Arsenal.
Of course, there is still a half-month of the silly season to go, but for tonight atleast, I am a very excited Arsenal supporter.
If I have learned anything from supporting the Edmonton Oilers (NHL hockey team. In theory), itâ€™s that you learn to embrace the moments of pleasure and hold on tight. You never know when itâ€™s coming again.
Up the Arse!